No, Moving Back Home Doesn’t Make You A Failure And Here’s Why

Plus how living with your parents can actually be ~fun~

Although we’ve bid farewell to it now, the lasting impact of the destruction 2020 has caused is still lingering around like a bad smell. From job loss to eviction notices, for many people, 2020 has rendered them dependent. Once living a life of independence, pleasing only yourself and enjoying all of the benefits that come with living away from home, this has sadly been ripped right from the palms of so many young people across Ireland, who are now back at home and staring at the ceiling of their childhood bedroom once again. 

Although we’re unsure of the exact figure of how many young Irish people have had to pack their bags and shack up with mammy and daddy, upon my own investigation it seems that no friendship group has been left unscathed. Chatting with 27-year-old Niamh, who left her life in Canada to move back in with her parents in March 2020, she tells me that above all else the knock her move has had on her confidence has impacted her the most. “When the pandemic hit and we started to realise just how serious the situation was, I knew I pretty much had no other choice but to pack up and move back home,” she said. “I was on a two-year working visa in Canada and I had 6 months left. I had an office job and an apartment that I shared with 2 other people, and although I knew I would be leaving Canada soon, living back at home with my parents again was never the plan. My job was stable but my living situation was not, and the thoughts of potentially becoming unwell with the virus in a country where I had no family was too big a risk to take, so I had no choice but to leave.”

Continuing on Niamh explained that while she’s lucky to have a good relationship with her parents and siblings, living at home hasn’t always been smooth sailing “I have 3 younger siblings who all still live at home, and my two parents which means that it’s a full house. Since moving out almost 2 years ago, my sister took over my bedroom, and I’m now in the box-room. I’ll argue with my brothers about who ate all the food in the fridge, and I find it hard to have some quiet time to sit down and job hunt because there’s constantly someone in the house making a racket. I am so grateful to have a roof over my head, but I do feel like a teenager again, and I long for that independence that I had when I was living in Canada.” 

Culture has created the idea that living at home or moving back in with your parents is a sign of irresponsibility, laziness, or both. Being surrounded by this rhetoric that being an adult living with your parents is a bad thing, some of those feelings are bound to become internalised. Just as Niamh has begun to think negatively about herself, Psychotherapist & Coach Sarie Taylor says that living at home isn’t an inherently bad thing, but we still somehow do a pretty good job convincing ourselves that it is, “There can be a lot of positives in moving back in with parents, but we will not always see this perspective if we are too busy judging ourselves and beating ourselves up, looking for reasons to compare ourselves as not being good enough,” Sarie says.

So how can we unlearn these thoughts? and stop beating ourselves up when circumstance forces us to change our living situation? Sadie says that for this exact situation, perception is key, once we begin to love and be kind to ourselves, the rest will follow, “It’s at these times where we need to be compassionate with ourselves rather than critical, be open-minded to the idea that your thinking is not actually a reflection of who you are, but just an indication of where your thinking is at,” she says. “If you embrace the ups with the downs, be grateful for the highs, and graceful with the lows, you will find a reason to smile in every day.”

Finding a reason to smile after a pandemic has come along and torn your world apart is of course easier said than done. But there’s no denying that living at home is unjustifiably stigmatised, and worrying about what others think of you, and worse still, what you think of yourself for doing your best in a situation out of your control is something that needs alleviating asap. So, here are just a few reasons why living with your parents may actually be dare we say… kind of fun. 

You Can Save Money 

The most obvious pro to moving back home is saving up some of that sweet sweet doe. No longer paying obscene rent prices, forking out on utility bills, and taking the brunt of the weekly shop, you will now have a lot more surplus money to spend how you please – if you’re luckily enough to have a job right now, that is. While yes that includes having money to buy those shoes that would have otherwise gone into your landlord’s pocket, you can also budget for adult-y things, like paying off debts and saving towards a mortgage deposit. What’s more, your parents can also save some money on bits around the house by having you chip in with keep money each month – so it’s a win win all round. 

You Can Make Invaluable Memories 

While you probably have to restrain yourself from bashing your sibling’s heads in, and are often at your wits end with your dad’s lingering (especially when you’re about to start cooking, it’s like they have a 6th sense?!), just as Sadie pointed out above, a change of perspective might do you the world of good. If you’re one of the lucky few who have an overall good relationship with your family, then count your blessings and chalk this unprecedented time down as a chance to make lasting memories with your fam. Having the opportunity to spend quality time with the people that love you the most is something that doesn’t come around too often, so you might as well make the most of it while you can – even when your Dad just can’t stop himself from telling you he would have cooked that lasagne differently. 

Mundane Responsibilities? Don’t Know Her

Sharing an apartment with other people means you have independence and freedom that comes with not living with your parents anymore, but it also means that you’re responsible not only for your own mess, but for everyone else around you’s mess too. Sick of nagging at your roommates, living out-of-home means you find yourself washing up other people’s dirty dishes and folding clothes that aren’t yours. When you live at home usually things are much more communal, your parents do X, you do Y, and if you’re unable to do something for whatever reason your parents probably won’t mind picking up the slack for you – you are their beloved child after all. 

You’ll Never Feel A Pang Of Hunger Again 

An Irish mother and her need to feed everyone around her is a force to be reckoned with. Gone be with the days of throwing on an oven pizza because you couldn’t be bothered cooking, your stomach will only have to make so much as one growl and there’ll be a stew on the cooker now. It’s also likely that you’ll be regularly getting your five a day too, as Irish parents tend to have a skill of milling as much veg as they can into one meal. You’ll find yourself snacking on whatever your parents bought during the big shop, and usually it’ll be something other than koka noodles – we living like royalty now. 

Images via Unsplash & Instagram. 

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